Marshall County has recently been dealing with extremely windy and snowy weather conditions. Around this time of year, pet owners are reminded to bring pets indoors or provide adequate outside shelter in order to keep animals safe this winter season.
Marshall County Humane Society Executive Director Nancy Cox said she and members of her team spend every morning, responding to calls of animals left outdoors without adequate food, water or shelter.
She stated, “People just need to use their common sense. If you’re cold, they’re cold. Like right now, I would feel that being out in this weather without proper shelter is cruelty and neglect.”
She said typically when she receives a call, she will either speak with owners directly or leave a warning note and give them about an hour to take care of the problem – as long as the situation isn’t life-threatening. If she returns and the animal is still in the same conditions, it will be taken to the shelter.
When an animal is impounded, there is a $25 fee and an additional $10 is added for every day it is boarded. If a rescued animal is not retrieved, that animal will go up for adoption in three days. Cox added that the adoption fee for a vaccinated canine is $60 while the fee for a vaccinated feline that has been spayed or neutered is $25.
Cox said that if animals cannot be brought inside due to allergies or other circumstances, they should at the very least be put into a garage or given a shelter where they will not be exposed to the elements. She said that straw works as a good insulator, and should be used to line the shelter. Avoid using blankets as they will get wet with snow the animals tracks in and lead to problems with freezing.
She also provided a helpful tip about placing shelters facing the south so that when the sun comes up, the dog will be able to be heated while they lay in the house out of the wind, snow and rain.
Additionally, Executive Director Cox mentioned that though cats seem to be more self-sufficient in the winter, many times ones that are feral or stray crawl under cars in order to stay warm. She suggested that individuals get into the habit of hitting the hood of their car and checking their wheel wells before starting their car to scare off any kitties that may be hiding.
Cox said she’s always willing to provide advice to owners looking to improve their practices and can also potentially help get resources to low-income owners. For more information or to report any issues contact the Marshall County Humane Society at 5740-36-8300. Mistreated animals can also be reported to your local police department or the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.